Thursday, September 28, 2006
Gary Neville: Ronaldo Can Be Legend
About Cristiano Ronaldo's performance against Benfica Neville said: "To be honest with you some of Ronaldo's play just makes you smile. He runs at players and runs into trouble when he shouldn't, but then he will go past players.

"To play against him must be a nightmare for defenders. The amount of running he made the Benfica players do was incredible and that makes space for other players. "He is learning all the time. We are telling him to do the right things for an hour and then exploit the space that comes in the last 20 minutes.

"It is then that we have told him he can go and win us the match. Even though he didn't score, the running he did against Benfica really helped to take the pressure off our defenders. "It then enabled Louis Saha to go and score his goal."

Ronaldo later said: "Last year here things did not go well, but this time they have. "The booing does not matter for me. If people in the stands were whistling, I forgot all about it. I don't care. "I just stay focused and play my game. I am used to being booed these days."

Ronaldo is still only 21 and has come through a lot in the last year. His father died and he was the subject of a false rape allegation.

Now he has had to deal with the fall-out from Wayne Rooney's World Cup sending-off. But he has come out the other side with his talent very much intact. Indeed Neville believes he will go on to have a glittering career.

Neville said: "He is young. He has had difficulties because he is young. "He came over here at 18, leaving home and his family. I would not like to experience that myself. "He has overcome all that and now we are all seeing the player he can be. If Ronaldo doesn't go on to become the player he should be, then there is something wrong.

"Cristiano is an incredible player and an incredible talent. United fans want to come and see players like Ronaldo going down the wing, they are terrific to watch. "United fans will always rally round their own - and Ronaldo is one of our own."
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